8K: University is Political
(Session Organizer) Yudit Namer, Bogazici University; (Chair) N. Ekrem Duzen, Izmir University; (Chair) Yudit Namer, Bogazici University
Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: Bogazici University
Research Area: Civic engagement and civic development
|Being the ‘other’ is a tough, albeit always political experience. Being the other in the context of a social function as naturally occurring as sex, religion, ethnic origin, and being the ‘other’ in one’s homeland, as in the case of the transgendered, the Kurd, the Jew, is even more alienating and traumatizing. Considering the centrality of the other in the formation and integration of self, when one is the ‘other’, the ‘self’ never integrates. The ‘other’ is doomed to be fragmented.
University is often the birthplace of social and political awareness for individuals. Whether coming from a political household or an apathetic social environment, exposure to new ideas and ideamakers as well as interaction with fellow students with different cultural, socioeconomical and geographical backgrounds facilitate the awareness of otherness. The authors would like to discuss the role of the university in the development of social, political and individual awareness and the methods by which this role can be realized. The workshop will be informed by the authors’ experiences of counseling university students, developing awareness programs (e.g. sexual otherness, ethnic otherness, religious otherness) at universities, providing consultation to university and multiple nationwide NGO civic involvement projects. This workshop is an attempt in making sense of our experiences of formulating and negotiating otherness, and one step in the lifelong project of arriving at an integrated self.
Civic involvement models in universities
Challenges to implementation of these models
Overcoming resistance to change in universities
Constructing a political self to construct a political university